Like some of our readers, I attended the Dems Abroad-UK annual general meeting in London on Saturday, and gave 5 hours of my day to the glory that is parliamentary procedural debate. There was so much debate, in fact, that even factoring in the late start, we still didn't even cast the first vote (and that was on a proposed amendment to a proposed amendment to the by-laws) until 11AM, by which point people were applauding the fact that something had actually been achieved.
All in all, it could have been worse.
The fact of the matter is that when you have 98 opinionated people in one room, you're going to hear at least 98 opinions on any given topic. If you're lucky.
Things moved on a bit more quickly after the initial hullaballoo over expanding the size of the council and the Executive Committee, and soon we were even able to vote for actual people as opposed to by-laws. I would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to the new officers, especially Margo Miller as the new Chair, who you may remember worked so hard on the Get Out The Vote effort leading up to the election.
Some of you know I was standing for Executive Committee - it turns out (I only found out last night) that I, along with several other new faces, was elected to the Committee and I would like to extend my congratulations to my fellow Committee members, both the old faces and the new. We have a lot of work to do in advance of the 2006 midterm elections.
I stood for the Committee on the basis of improving the communications side of DA-UK, and possibly of Dems Abroad as a parent organisation, both online and offline (obviously leaning towards the former). In the short term that means an urgent review of the DA-UK website and its strategic strengths and weaknesses.
What, you may ask, is the impact on this website? The short answer is, I don't know yet. Since I am now part of the management of Dems Abroad UK, will the tone of this website change at all? I would venture to say no. However, it is too soon to tell. The bigger issue is, I think, that if we are successful at reengineering the DA-UK and even the DA parent websites, we may come to a point where this website is redundant. I don't think that will be the case for some time yet (if at all) but it's a possibility. Don't start counting those chickens yet :)
In any case, I should be able to offer a fresh perspective on expat political life now that I have re-committed myself to the fight. I hope all of you are similarly inclined to keep up the good work.